How To Become A Veterinary Assistant

How to Become a Veterinary Assistant

Starting a new career can be exciting, but you may have questions about how to get started. If you’ve ever wondered how to become a veterinary assistant, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide just for you that lays out all your options for education.


The main questions you should be asking yourself before picking your education are:

  • How much time am I willing to dedicate to my education?
  • How much money would I like to make?
  • What can I afford to spend?
  • Who can provide the expertise I’m looking for?
  • Do I want a certificate?
  • What is going to get me to my goals the fastest?


There are many options out there to help you start a career as a veterinary assistant. Each one offers a unique experience but not all are created equal. It really depends on your answers to the above questions, which model you should choose.


3 Options for How To Become A Veterinary Assistant

The options listed below cover each of the ways you can become a veterinary assistant. We have ranked them by quality and likelihood of success. We understand that each person’s situation is different so the best option for you might be different than the next person.


Hands-On Schools

There are a handful of veterinary assistant schools across the country that offer comprehensive education and hands-on experience. Because vet assisting is such a hands-on profession, you can appreciate the value of working with dogs and learning from professional instructors. No other option can put you through a full education and make you job ready in such a short time. Veterinary Assisting certificates can usually be earned between 2 and 9 months, depending on the school.


The tradeoff for this comprehensive education is cost and time. Veterinary assistant schools aren’t going to be your cheapest option, but if you are serious about a career working with animals, this will provide the best education. Schools also offer certificates upon graduation that help set you apart when looking for a job.


Online Schools

Many people are attracted to the convenience of an online education. There are many online schools that can help you become a veterinary assistant. Many of them even work with your local veterinary medical associations.


Online schools are cheaper than hands-on schools, but it is important to appreciate the reasons why. You are trading convenience for experience. Many online schools for vet assistants include an apprenticeship, but it is a small part of the education and results can vary.


This can be a great starting point for people new to the field. There is a lot of great theory that is necessary to understand to be the best veterinary assistant. But the lack of hands-on experience could make it more difficult to get a job.



Not everyone has the option of going to school full time. Your next best option is to get hands-on experience through an apprenticeship. An apprenticeship allows you to train under the supervision of a veterinarian or licensed vet tech in a real work environment.


There is no apprenticeship network out there, so you are required to find your own clinic. The biggest draw to this option is that there are no guarantees to your education or success. Not all clinics have the time and resources to dedicate to a proper education. It is important to find a facility that can provide your desired education, because each experience can be different.

If you are interested in learning more about how to become a veterinary assistant, contact us at The Academy of Pet Careers. We can help you find out if a hands-on school is the right fit for you. Call us today at (636)778-4989 or we can be reached by email at [email protected].